Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Casting about for something brilliant to say

You know how sometimes when you are talking to someone about something, you quickly run out of things to say about that topic? Like, I don't know, bricks. Here are some things I think about when I see bricks:

1. Why are some brick houses so ugly?
2. If I stole those bricks and got some planks from somewhere, I could make a bookshelf.
3. One time, Frank Gilbreth showed off his leet brick-laying skillz to his future in-laws.
4. That Ben Folds Five song that I didn't realize was about abortion until someone pointed it out to me, just another of many examples of me totally ignoring what song lyrics are plainly saying
5. The weird old-timey British compliment

Although all of these things run through my head when I see a brick, none of them are likely to lead to really good conversations. So if I am with you, and we get onto the subject of bricks, the conversation will probably trail off slightly.

Today I was walking with my father, and we were checking out dandelions, and I was thinking of things to say about dandelions. I told him how Mumsy correctly hypothesized that you would be more likely to get your wish if you blew from the bottom of the dandelion (by the stalk), and then I had nothing else to say about dandelions, so I was thinking about them, and it occurred to me it's very lucky for dandelions that people think blowing dandelions away will grant you a wish, because, ta-da! instant fertilization.

In fact, like, weirdly lucky for dandelions.

My Latin teacher used to tell us useful information that she said would save our lives someday (such as, hit a marauding alligator on its nose and poke its eyes and scream really loudly because it won't like that and will waddle away). So here is something that I thought of today that might save your life someday, and I told it to my father, and I am telling it to you, and I recommend that you pass it on to your friends and relations and possibly Homeland Security so that we can ALL BE PREPARED.

This wish business with the dandelions? I have used my deductive skills to deduce that it's an alien plot. Aliens, for some unfathomable alien reason, have a vested interest in ensuring the long-term prosperity of the dandelion. They have infiltrated Earth and spread this rumor about getting wishes, in order to ensure that dandelion spores are spread far and wide. So if ever you are walking around, and aliens land in front of you, and you are panicking because you are afraid that they are going to take you onto their ship and do bad things to you, here's what you do. (Don't smile - they might think you're baring your teeth.) You say, "Welcome to DANDELION LAND! Is it not glorious? We only regret that we do not have MANY MORE DANDELIONS to offer to you, our distinguished visitors!" And then they will spare your life.

You're welcome.

Monday, April 13, 2009

You may have heard

about the fact that Amazon.com has a quote unquote "glitch" (yes, I said "quote unquote" and then used quotation marks - this is redundant but I do it to indicate my skepticism that "glitch" accurately describes what's going on there) which causes books with content relating to GLBT issues to suddenly not be ranked on the Amazon ranking system anymore! Which causes them to slide way, way down the page, so when I do a search for Fingersmith, which I just finished rereading and thoroughly enjoyed, Amazon is like, What book is that? Do you by any chance mean all these other books and films that are not Fingersmith at all?

I know it's Easter Monday, and Amazon is doing its best, and it can't solve everything right away. I know this. I still feel angry anyway. What is your problem, Amazon? Sarah Waters, really? Really? You need to protect the public from the adult content in the books of a woman who has been nominated for the Booker prize twice? Really? And Jeanette Winterson? I don't know what to say to you, Amazon. You have done so much for me over the years, sending me Christmas gifts for my loved ones, and books for me to gloat over, and the first series of Doctor Who, and I have loved all of these things greatly. But STRAIGHTEN THE HELL UP.

(Ha, ha, straighten up. See how I made a funny? How I can make a funny in the midst of being really irritated?)

Yeah, Amazon, straighten up and fly right. I don't want to hear about any more of your shenanigans.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Doctor Who

When my sisters and I were small, and somebody we liked was about to leave, we used to attach ourselves to them to prevent it. Robyn and I would each sit on one foot and cling like monkeys, and Anna would launch herself from the side of the sofa to the adult's back, from which lofty position she would do her best to stop them from prying off Robyn and me. I recognized that, adults being larger and stronger than we were, we would probably not be able to stop them leaving by main force (a point, incidentally, that I think Anna failed to grasp). I did have this notion, though, that they just hadn't realized how much we wanted them to stay, and if we could show them, by our actions, the power of our love, the sincerity of our need for them to stay and not go, their hearts would be moved by our simple childish affection, and then they would stay longer.

I really, really wish that David Tennant wouldn't leave Doctor Who. But I am far too old to sit on his feet.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Prepare to be so, so jealous

What did you do Friday night?

Do not even bother to tell me what you did on Friday night. Whatever you did Friday night, it was not nearly as excellent as the totally legendary thing that I did on Friday night. On Friday night, I went with Robyn to Bongs & Noodles to get something, and while I was there, I realized that THERE WAS STARLAB.

If you never had StarLab, you missed out in a way that I cannot really even begin to explain to you. StarLab was the most amazing thing that ever happened to my elementary school self. It was this big, silvery inflatable dome that (in my day, though apparently not anymore) looked like it was made of duct tape. And your whole class would crawl inside and sit around the edges, while in the middle there was a projector, and it would project the night sky onto the ceiling of the dome. They could rotate it to show you the night sky at all different times of year, and if you were doing a mythology unit (we always seemed to be), they could connect the dots of the constellations, which again, if you haven't seen it, you can't appreciate how incredible this was. I have moped about how much I miss StarLab a number of times in my adult life, I can tell you.


And, yes, okay, it was not quite as legendary as it was when I was little, because the little children were screaming, and instead of stars they had a video about weather, but it was still pretty awesome. It was all cool and blowy inside, exactly like I remember, and the sides flapped up like I remember, and the video about weather went all over and up and around. Different, but mostly the same.

Incidentally, prior to the Bongs & Noodles guy assuring us that we were not too old for StarLab, Robyn and I also made lots of jokes like, Am I too big to go inside that? Which is another change from when I was little.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Things that are not cute

I don't really have a list. Just a critical remark to make about myself. So #8 (an arbitrarily chosen number) on the nonexistent list of things that are not cute is Being Clumsy. It is not cute to Be Clumsy. It is unpleasant.

I have been really tired lately, and also a bit stressed because of this thing I volunteered for at work and then became frantically worried I wasn't competent enough to handle (but it went fine), and I guess because of that I've been more clumsy than usual. I tripped and fell a while ago, and my phone fell out of my purse and broke. The other night I got out of bed to switch off my alarm, and when I got back into bed I injured my ankle (it hurt a lot but no bruise). And then last night I was walking into the kitchen to get my dinner and I tripped, and I fell into my wood chair and wood table. I hit my stomach, left hip, right calf, and left ankle on various pieces of wood.

There was SO MUCH PAIN. I could not breathe, and when I could finally breathe again, I thought I was going to throw up because it hurt so much. Sometimes I forget about Pain Thresholds and Being Stoic and all I can do is wail helplessly until the pain subsides slightly. And although it really sucked, I thought: Well, at least I will have some truly epic bruises tomorrow, and I can show them off, and everyone will be stunned by the size and colors of my bruises.

However, this did not transpire. My blood vessels are made of steel. It's bullshit. The only good bruise I have is on the top part of my leg, so I can't show it to anyone because I am too much of a lady to take off my trousers. I have the puniest little bruise on my calf that you ever saw. Like if maybe I was injured by THE FEATHER OF A HUMMINGBIRD.

Anyway, I've sort of strayed from the point. The point is, it is not cute and endearing to be clumsy. It is aggravating, dangerous to anything you are carrying, and ultimately painful. And aggravating. And every time I injure myself due to clumsiness now, I think about Stephenie Dreadful Meyer and how she gave her heroine the trait of clumsy in order to make her more real - which didn't work, but because it irritated me so much, it sticks in my brain. I fall over and hurt myself, and all I can think of is, If only I had a strong manly vampire with well-developed chest muscles to save me from my own silly self.